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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

Kremlin finally achieved the co-operation of tie Polish Underground
Army, without any concession, or promise of concession, on its part in
return. Hopes had been expressed that as the Red Army entered Poland,
so a suitable moment would be reached to effect an agreement between the
two countries; such hopes, however, were pronounced only by those
without knowledge of the Russian mentality. Was it logical that the
Kremlin, who had been responsible for the breaking-off of relations with
Poland, and who had persistently and stubbornly repulsed any attempt at
restoring them, would, in that hour of triumph, change its attitude
towards the country its forces were then in the process of occupying ?
The Red Army had hung or shot those Commanders of the first of the
Polish Underground troops who, coming forward to greet them as fellow-
combatants, persisted in firmly adhering to their determination to remain
loyal to the Polish Government. The shadow of the Russian gallows
spread over Poland and increased the already existing mistrust of the
Soviets.
When the Red Army crossed the river Bug in Central Poland (the
4 Ribbentrop-Mobtov Line 5 of September 28, 1939) on July 25, 1944,
Moscow's Foreign Office announced that by so doing the " Soviet Forces "
were " crossing the Soviet-Polish frontier and had thus entered Poland."
Moscow laid the greatest stress on having crossed this 4 frontier line,3
although, in effect, no Power, apart from Germany during the time of its
partnership with Moscow, had recognised it as such. Thus, without any
further explanation, Moscow de jure caduco announced the establish-
ment of her new frontier with Poland.
" The Soviet Forces," ran the subsequent statement,* ** entered Polish
territory inspired by the sole determination to smash the enemy, the German
armies, and to aid the Polish people in their task of liberating the country
from the yoke of the German invaders and to re-establish an independent,
strong and democratic Poland.
" The Soviet Government declares that it regards the military operations
of the Red Army on Polish territory as an action on the territory of a
sovereign and friendly Allied State.
" In connection with this the Soviet Government does not intend to
establish on Polish territory its own administrative organs, as it considers
this to be the task of the Polish people. In view of this the Soviet Govern-
ment has decided to conclude with the Polish Committee of National
Liberation an agreement stipulating the relations between the Soviet
military command and the Polish administration.
" The Soviet Government declares that it does not pursue the aim of
acquiring any part of Polish territory or of changing the Polish social order."
* Pravda, on July 26th, hailed this document as being one of the greatest
significance in the history of the struggle for liberation against Hitlerite imperialism
and recalled earlier statements of Stalin which had repudiated, on behalf of the
U.S.S.R., any claims to foreign territory and which refuted any intentions of impos-
ing the Soviet regime on the Slavonic or any other enslaved nation in Europe.
" From the moment when the Soviet troops first set foot on Polish soil the Polish
people felt themselves masters of their own land."
According to Pravda the Polish Committee of National Liberation was the " only
lawful temporary organ of executive power in the liberated areas."
275